Paramedics head overseas for higher pay, more recognition

Paramedics describe New Zealand's 'dysfunctional' ambulance service.

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By Felix Walton of RNZ Underpaid, understaffed and under-appreciated – that’s how paramedics describe New Zealand’s “dysfunctional” ambulance service. A former St John paramedic who moved to South Australia last year said it was difficult to leave his family behind, but the move was a financial no-brainer. “ Australia ’s worlds ahead of New Zealand when it comes to paramedicine,” said the former St John employee, who asked to remain anonymous.

“It’s kind of amazing that for the same job, in New Zealand we’re on 42 hours a week and here in Australia it’s 37 hours, you knock off about five hours a week and add about a 33% pay rise on top of that.”.